Tomorrow, my beautiful bard, Turayis, graduates with her Masters in Professional Writing. I am so proud of her.
15 years ago, when I met her, she worked at Arby’s. You know, the roast beef sandwich fast food joint. She always smelled like roast beef when she came home. She had no direction really. She had fun at work, but I could see she was smarter than just fast food. Not to mention, I was getting really tired of the smell of roast beef. LOL.
She was always wanting to go to Barnes & Noble so she could research stuff. I never met anyone who liked to research random things as much as I did until I met her. In all honesty, I think she loved it more. So every weekend, we would hop in my sweet Buick LeSabre and burn rubber with the windows down, blasting metal tunes up to Norman & chill at the Barnes & Noble, sipping our Starbuck’s Mochas until they closed. T would bring note books and sit there for hours writing interesting facts she would find in an array of books she had piled on one of the small tables next to her chair.
We eventually moved to Norman in 2001. Sometimes I swear we did it just to be closer to the Barnes & Noble. I got a job right next door to it, at the Toys R Us to support my action figure/Star Wars addiction. T got a job at…Arby’s. Yep, she just transferred. I was a little surprised and disappointed. Everything was beginning to smell like roast beef. I knew she was smarter than Arby’s. I was hoping she’d give herself a fresh start. Arby’s in Norman wasn’t the same though. It wasn’t as fun. She quit not long after and ended up at an Eye Mart Express. That job turned into hell for her. It was also when she began to question what she really wanted to do. She realized she was unhappy.
She went from job to job for a little bit. Trying to find a niche. A starting point. She worked at the Movie theater, Blockbuster, and somewhere else I think. It’s hard to remember. It seems like a lifetime ago. Finally, she had a breakdown. There were tears & much gnashing of the teeth. I asked her, “Why don’t you go to college?” She didn’t think she was smart enough.
This person who was constantly researching, taking notes, and learning things on her own, didn’t think she was smart enough for college. LOL! Seriously?! This woman, who had learned how to make chain mail herself by reading a book?! This woman, who had a hunger and desire to learn as much as she could didn’t think she could make it at college? She didn’t though. She was petrified.
Then there was the cost issue. Two minimum wage jobs barely paid the rent and bills. She was certain we’d never be able to manage to afford college. Especially the one in our city, which happened to be the best in the state. I don’t know if I was just naive or if I knew it was just too important to let money get in the way, but I told her…I promised her, it would work out. We could pay for it. I’m still not exactly sure how we did. I think all of T’s hard work and scholarships helped a whole lot.
I was amazed when she finally decided that, yes, she wanted to go to college. She just went and did it. She walked right into the biggest University in the state.
Here we are, not many years later, and she is walking out with a Masters. Clearly, she was more than smart enough. I’m so proud of her. She set herself goals, and I’ll be damned if she didn’t hit the mark on every single one. She even managed to pull off the one that I wasn’t sure she’d make. Getting published. She got a real book deal with a real publisher and just yesterday, they sent her the final revisions with all the photos for her to go over and send back. As soon as it is sent back, the book goes into production. Amazing. She’s amazing.
So congratulations to the most amazing woman I know. I knew you could do it. You have so much magic inside you. Thank you to all of our wonderful friends that have supported her and us in any of our endeavors. It would be a much darker & difficult path without your love to light the way.